16 U.S. Code § 407m - Establishment; acquisition of land; property involved

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For the purpose of preserving for the benefit of the American people as a national historical park certain historical structures and properties of outstanding national significance located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and associated with the American Revolution and the founding and growth of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, following the consummation of agreements with the city of Philadelphia and the Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia as prescribed in section 407n of this title, is authorized to acquire by donation or with donated funds, or to acquire by purchase, any property, real or personal, within the following-described areas, such park to be fully established as the “Independence National Historical Park” when, in the opinion of the Secretary, title to sufficient of the lands and interests in lands within such areas, shall be vested in the United States: Provided, That the park shall not be established until title to the First United States Bank property, the Merchants’ Exchange property, the Bishop White house, the Dilworth-Todd-Moylan house, and the site of the Benjamin Franklin house, together with two-thirds of the remaining lands and interests in lands within the following-described areas, shall have been vested in the United States:
(a) An area of three city blocks bounded generally by Walnut Street, Fifth Street, Chestnut Street, and Second Street, but excluding the new United States customhouse at the southeast corner of Second and Chestnut Streets, identified as “project A”, as described in the report of the Philadelphia National Shrines Park Commission, dated December 29, 1947.
(b) A memorial thoroughfare, or mall, extending generally from the south side of Walnut Street to the north side of Manning Street, identified as part of “project B” in the report of the Commission. The properties identified generally as 269, 271, 273, and 275 South Fifth Street in “project B” in the report of the Commission.
(c) The site of the residence of Benjamin Franklin, and related grounds, comprising approximately a one-hundred-foot-wide strip, extending southward from Market Street approximately three hundred feet between Third and Fourth Streets, and encompassing a portion of Orianna Street, identified as “project C” in the report of the Commission.
(d) Certain land and buildings immediately adjacent to Christ Church, situated on the west side of Second Street, and north of Market Street, identified as “project E” in the report of the Commission, and certain land and buildings adjoining “Project E”, being known and numbered as 8, 10, and 12 North Second Street and 201, 203, 205, 207, 209, 211–213, 215, 217, 219, and 221 Market Street: Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior first enter into an agreement with the proprietor or proprietors of said property (Christ Church), said agreement to contain the usual and customary provisions for the protection of the property, assuring its physical maintenance as a national shrine, without any limitation or control over its use for customary church purposes.


(June 28, 1948, ch. 687, § 1,62 Stat. 1061; July 10, 1952, ch. 653, § 1,66 Stat. 575; Pub. L. 85–764, § 3(a),Aug. 27, 1958, 72 Stat. 862.)

1958—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 85–764included certain lands and buildings adjoining “project E” being known and numbered as 8, 10, and 12 North Second Street and 201, 203, 205, 207, 209, 211–213, 215, 217, 219, and 221 Market Street.
1952—Subsec. (b). Act July 10, 1952, inserted second sentence.
Gateway Visitor Center

Pub. L. 106–131, Dec. 7, 1999, 113 Stat. 1678, provided that:
“This Act may be cited as the ‘Gateway Visitor Center Authorization Act of 1999’.
“(a) Findings.—The Congress finds the following:
“(1) The National Park Service completed and approved in 1997 a general management plan for Independence National Historical Park that establishes goals and priorities for the park’s future.
“(2) The general management plan for Independence National Historical Park calls for the revitalization of Independence Mall and recommends as a critical component of the Independence Mall’s revitalization the development of a new ‘Gateway Visitor Center’.
“(3) Such a visitor center would replace the existing park visitor center and would serve as an orientation center for visitors to the park and to city and regional attractions.
“(4) Subsequent to the completion of the general management plan, the National Park Service undertook and completed a design project and master plan for Independence Mall which includes the Gateway Visitor Center.
“(5) Plans for the Gateway Visitor Center call for it to be developed and managed, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Interior, by a nonprofit organization which represents the various public and civic interests of the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.
“(6) The Gateway Visitor Center Corporation, a nonprofit organization, has been established to raise funds for and cooperate in a program to design, develop, construct, and operate the proposed Gateway Visitor Center.
“(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Gateway Visitor Center Corporation to construct and operate a regional visitor center on Independence Mall.
“(a) Agreement.—The Secretary of the Interior, in administering the Independence National Historical Park, may enter into an agreement under appropriate terms and conditions with the Gateway Visitor Center Corporation (a nonprofit corporation established under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) to facilitate the construction and operation of a regional Gateway Visitor Center on Independence Mall.
“(b) Operations of Center.—The Agreement shall authorize the Corporation to operate the Center in cooperation with the Secretary and to provide at the Center information, interpretation, facilities, and services to visitors to Independence National Historical Park, its surrounding historic sites, the City of Philadelphia, and the region, in order to assist in their enjoyment of the historic, cultural, educational, and recreational resources of the greater Philadelphia area.
“(c) Management-Related Activities.—The Agreement shall authorize the Secretary to undertake at the Center activities related to the management of Independence National Historical Park, including, but not limited to, provision of appropriate visitor information and interpretive facilities and programs related to Independence National Historical Park.
“(d) Activities of Corporation.—The Agreement shall authorize the Corporation, acting as a private nonprofit organization, to engage in activities appropriate for operation of a regional visitor center that may include, but are not limited to, charging fees, conducting events, and selling merchandise, tickets, and food to visitors to the Center.
“(e) Use of Revenues.—Revenues from activities engaged in by the Corporation shall be used for the operation and administration of the Center.
“(f) Protection of Park.—Nothing in this section authorizes the Secretary or the Corporation to take any actions in derogation of the preservation and protection of the values and resources of Independence National Historical Park.
“(g) Definitions.—In this section:
“(1) Agreement.—The term ‘Agreement’ means an agreement under this section between the Secretary and the Corporation.
“(2) Center.—The term ‘Center’ means a Gateway Visitor Center constructed and operated in accordance with the Agreement.
“(3) Corporation.—The term ‘Corporation’ means the Gateway Visitor Center Corporation (a nonprofit corporation established under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania).
“(4) Secretary.—The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of the Interior.”
Mikveh Israel Cemetery

Act Aug. 6, 1956, ch. 1018, 70 Stat. 1074, provided that: “Upon compliance with the provisions of section 2 of this Act, the Mikveh Israel Cemetery, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and containing the graves of Haym Salomon and other outstanding patriots of the Revolutionary War who played important parts in the early history of the United States, shall be declared to be a unit of the Independence National Historical Park: Provided, That the United States shall not thereby assume any responsibility to provide for the administration, care, or maintenance of said Mikveh Israel Cemetery.
“Sec. 2. This Act shall become effective if and when the Mikveh Israel Congregation, through its duly authorized representatives, has executed an agreement in terms and conditions satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior, providing for the continuing administration, care, and maintenance, without expense to the United States, of the Mikveh Israel Cemetery, whereupon said Secretary shall issue a notice declaring that said requirement has been met and that Mikveh Israel Cemetery is formally designated a unit of the Independence National Historical Park.”


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